This weekend, the Yale men’s golf team teed off their fall season at the Alex Lagowitz Memorial Invitational hosted by Colgate University, where the Elis ended up placing fourth out of 16 teams.
The invitational featured three returning members from last year’s regular five-man squad — captain Teddy Zinsner ’21, Paul Stankey ’21 and Darren Lin ’22 — as well as two new members to the rotation — Sean Yi ’21 and Gabe Ruiz ’23. Zinsner led Yale throughout the weekend, posting a score just one over par and placing fifth overall individually.
“Definitely not entirely the weekend we were looking for, but we fought hard which is all that matters,” Zinsner said. “Tiredness definitely can come into play. 54 holes is a long weekend and 36 on Saturday is always tough, but a lot of it also just comes down to course setup and conditions. Definitely a lot of positive takeaways from the weekend.”
On the first day, the Bulldogs delivered a top-tier performance. Through the first two rounds, Yale sat at eight strokes over par, good for the second slot in the tourney. Cornell led through the first two rounds, however, posting an abnormally amazing par score.
After the first round, Yale sat at three over par, with the team anchored by Zinsner. The junior posted a two under net total in the round, and was the only Eli to finish under par. After the round, he was in lone possession of second place. Following Zinsner, Stankey and Yi each tallied respectable scores of one over par, tying for 14th individually amongst the competitors. Lin also recorded a respectable three over. Ruiz’s first-ever collegiate round of golf saw some dramatic ups and downs, best epitomized by him double bogeying the first hole and following it up with a birdie. Ruiz finished with a score of six shots over par, in what constituted an excellent first outing for the newcomer.
The first and second rounds both occurred on Saturday, but after the team totalled a solid three over in the first round, the second go-round was a tad more bumpy for the Bulldogs. Zinsner posted a fantastic one under par, bringing his total over the first pair of rounds to three under, again leaving him tied for second individually with Rhode Island’s Chris Francoeur.
Ruiz rebounded from his shaky start and ended up posting a scoreline of just one over, good for second on the team at the conclusion of the second round. Stankey, Lin and Yi had two, three, and four over results, respectively, in the second round, while, as a team, the Bulldogs sat in second place behind Ivy foe Cornell.
On Sunday, the Elis’ luck fluctuated widely. Very few holes resulted in a par outcome for Yale, as the players oscillated between bogeys and birdies in rapid succession. Zinsner continued his hot streak, notching a very respectable four over par on the day, giving him a final score of one over amongst the three rounds and a tie for a fifth place finish individually.
Stankey and Lin also showcased solid Sunday performances. Stankey swung the stick to score three over on the day; overall, he excelled through the course over the weekend, tying for 18th individually. Lin, possibly the most consistent and reliable shooter on the squad, smacked the marble well over the three rounds and led the team in Sunday’s lone round. A one-over scoreline brought his cumulative result to seven over, good for a tie for 21st place.
“We know we’re a good team, we just need to use defeats as a learning experience and improve in the future,” Zinsner said. “We were 8 down going into today, but knew we were never out of it, and grabbed the lead for a good portion of the round. Team definitely played hard and [I] think we’re in good shape for the rest of the season.”
On Sunday, the team fell out of second place, but Zinsner, Stankey and Lin showcased their experience. In the third round, Ruiz and Yi both struggled more than they had in either of the first two, with each recording seven shots over on the day. It was Ruiz’s first collegiate event and Yi’s first in the regular rotation for the Bulldogs and despite their lack of experience, there were signs of excellence in both of their games, particularly in Saturday’s opening rounds.
Overall, the Bulldogs landed in fourth place out of 16 teams, behind Cornell, Bucknell and Seton Hall.
Next weekend, Yale travels to Long Island to partake in The Doc Gimmler Invitational Tournament, held by St. John’s University at Bethpage State Red Course in Farmingdale, N.Y.
Bentley Long | firstname.lastname@example.org